Shannah, Leah and Carla had gone to Austria and The Czech Republic and I really missed them. The one beacon of light was Antony’s sister.
She had studied in Canada and would speak to me in English. But she was working in their dad’s real estate business and would leave early in the morning without breakfast.
When she came home for lunch, I observed how she ate a plate of spaghetti and then had nothing else before dinner at 8 or 9pm.
She was stunning, with long brown hair, brown skin from the sun and very thin. I didn’t know why Guillaume didn’t like her instead of me. Maybe he did?
At least she could follow the conversation.
And she had spunk. She’d tell them off if she found a comment racist or whatever.
Meanwhile, I was in a completely unnatural state of silence.
When you feel fat too, you feel ashamed for being hungry. I wanted to know what we were doing and what the plans were but Guillaume never knew.
Once I ate a whole bowl of the peanuts on the balcony while I waited to go out, hoping no one would notice. The shame of it.
I remember sitting in an internet café reading the emails I’d received from Shannah, Carla and Leah with tears streaming down my face.
They were in a funny nightclub in Prague when they wrote back to me.
Guillaume took me to Marseille to stay in his aunt and uncle’s big house.
We went for dinner by the sea but the combination of wine, driving and communicating in another language on the way home, made me sleepy and as I nodded off I was aware that this too was embarrassing.
Alcohol always made me sleepy. If I wasn’t in a fun conversation or laughing, then I was finding a quiet corner, side of the stage or nice rock to curl up on.
Guillaume too, who had felt so free in Perth, was diminished in France.
With his white skin and bright blue eyes, he stood out. When we walked down the main street in Marseille, Guilluame was accosted by a young thug wanting a cigarette.
Not taking no for an answer, the little guy said he could see them in his pocket and followed us down the street, trying to trip Guillaume.
While we were in the train ticket line at the station, I asked Guillaume why he was mean to me and he said it was because my clothes were in his bag and I couldn’t run away.
Maybe it was more like how I was mean to people in my care 24/7, like when I was a kid and someone would sleep over.
Otherwise, we ate this amazing tomato tart that his aunt had made. Of course, I wanted more. I wanted to stuff myself, hungry for connection.
And tomato tart.
I didn’t feel this way around my friends. With them. I could be myself, snack and be hungry.
This is from my upcoming autobiography, Love Queen.
It was when I was twenty-two, travelling Europe with my three friends and had a French boyfriend.
Right now I am still working on splitting the autobiography in half.
I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll just put it out so I can finally finish with it.
p.s. I’m @mireilleparker_xx on Instagram and find me sharing stories on YouTube here or the Living Deeply Stories podcast on Apple or where podcasts are found or on my site here.
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